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Blue Is the Colour

The Beautiful South

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Album Review

"Don't marry her... f**k me." Light, dreamy pop that includes lines like this may knock the listener over. An added feature is the various ways vocal duties are shared by Jacqueline Abbot, Dave Hemingway, and Paul Heaton. Finely produced, it should be noted that the knob-twiddler here was Jon Kelly (Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Tori Amos, Kate Bush). Beautiful South reminds one of the blunt simplicity of some of the Ann Magnuson-sung Bongwater, but much more accessible. Dulcet harmonies with casual bar talk rewritten as poetry. "Have fun/And if you can't have fun/Have someone else's fun." The songs here transform spite and hurt into tuneful gems. "The whole place is pickled/The people are pickles for sure/And no one knows if they've done more here/Than they would do in a jar." Yes, yes, yes. Next time your significant other does you significant pain, just put Blue Is the Colour on for a few spins. It will be more healing than a public drunk and save you any day-after embarrassment.

Biography

Formed: 1989 in Hull, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Following the disbandment of the British indie pop group the Housemartins in 1989, vocalist Paul Heaton and drummer David Hemmingway formed the Beautiful South. Where their previous group relied on jazzy guitars and witty, wry lyrics, the Beautiful South boasted a more sophisticated, jazzy pop sound, layered with keyboards, R&B-inflected female backing vocals and, occasionally, light orchestrations. Often, the group's relaxed, catchy songs contradicted the sarcastic, cynical thrust of the lyrics....
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Blue Is the Colour, The Beautiful South
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